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2022 Power Rankings, June: Red hot Yankees capture top spot; Angels plummet

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Intermission’s MLB Power Rankings. Here, our baseball editors rank where each team stands three months into the season.

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

1. New York Yankees (58-23)

Previous Rank: 2 (+1)

Not many expected the Yankees to dominate the way they have this season. New York boasts the No. 1 record in the league by a large margin while the bats and pitching has been on another level. The team ranks first in runs scored (5.1) and ERA (2.90) on the year and seem like they’re not slowing down anytime soon. Not to mention Aaron Judge, who’s leading the MLB in home runs (29) alongside a .981 OPS and is a front-runner for AL MVP.

2. Houston Astros (53-27)

Previous Rank: 4 (+2)

It doesn’t matter who they lose. The Astros always have a next guy up to fill in the shoes of their departees, and it’s been that way ever since Gerrit Cole left in free agency nearly three years ago. This year’s version has been Jeremy Pena, who has been a rookie sensation in his first year replacing Carlos Correa. An .804 OPS is nothing to scoff at, and combining this with their loaded roster has led to another phenomenal season that’ll almost certainly see them clinch yet another division title.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (51-29)

Previous Rank: 3 (-)

The resurgence of Mookie Betts and Trae Turner’s bats after a middling start to the season has given the Dodgers enough life to take decent control of the NL West. Not to mention Freddie Freeman stepping it up in the power department in June, hitting six of his 10 nukes on the year in the month. The pitching is there and the bats are starting to return to its elite form; this is one scary team.

4. New York Mets (50-31)

Previous Rank: 1 (-3)

The Mets haven’t played their best baseball as of late, but yet they’re still within striking distance of first place in the National League. While the pitching has been great, the hitting has also been a pleasant surprise compared to last year, and Pete Alonso has led the charge. He sports an incredible .901 OPS and has hammered 22 home runs so far into the season, good for fifth in the majors.

5. Atlanta Braves (48-34)

Previous Rank: 14 (+9)

The Braves are back, baby! A 14-game winning streak to start off June might do the trick. Everything has been clicking for this ballclub since the start of the month, seeing their record rise from just under .500 to now well over 10 games above .500. The pitching has been great, in particular Max Fried, who boasts a 2.66 ERA through 16 starts. The hitting has also been decent, with surprisingly Dansby Swanson leading the way with a .304 average alongside 14 home runs on the year.

6. San Diego Padres (47-36)

Previous Rank: 7 (+1)

It’s been a magnificent start for the Padres. Yes, we saw them do this last year and blow it, but it feels different. They’re doing it without the help of their best player, Fernando Tatis Jr, while fellow infielder Manny Machado has been playing the best baseball of his career. His 4.3 fWAR leads the majors, and if their pitching can continue to shove, there’s no reason this pace should stop once Tatis is back.

7. Boston Red Sox (45-36)

Previous Rank: 15 (+8)

The Red Sox may arguably be the hottest team in baseball. Despite the below-expectations start to the year, the team went 20-6 in June and rose above the Rays and Blue Jays to take control of the second-place spot in a cutthroat AL East. Rafael Devers has played MVP-worthy this season, owning a blistering .327/.383/.579 slashing line alongside 17 moonshots on the season.

8. Toronto Blue Jays (44-38)

Previous Rank: 5 (-3)

It’s been a weird stretch for the Blue Jays. They’ve ridden the highest of highs that saw them bounce back into a strong position, and they’ve also had stretches that brought much concern to their fans. Recently, though, the offense has taken over. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. looks like his usual self, and has jumped back to an .849 OPS with 19 home runs. Despite this, the pitching has gone through a rough patch and looks questionable at best, which is an issue they need to solve at the looming trade deadline.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (47-36)

Previous Rank: 6 (-3)

Despite a middling month with ups and downs for Milwaukee, the club has still managed to maintain ground to still hold off St. Louis for the top spot in the NL Central. Just like how it's felt for the Brewers over the past couple of seasons, the great starting pitching and incredible bullpen is making up for the subpar offense. No hitter on the team owns an OPS greater than .800 on the season.

10. St Louis Cardinals (44-39)

Previous Rank: 8 (-2)

The Cardinals have maintained a good pace, but have recently surrendered a playoff spot to the Phillies who are starting to catch up. There’s still plenty of time for them to make it up, and with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado both continuing to rake this season, it’s hard to count them out just yet.

11. Minnesota Twins (47-37)

Previous Rank: 9 (-2)

The Twins are a good team this season. The team has a dependable offense and a surprisingly solid pitching staff containing the likes of Sonny Gray (2.47 ERA), Joe Ryan (3.00 ERA), Chris Archer (3.08 ERA) and Devin Smeltzer (3.04 ERA). A ragtag group of individuals, but they’ve managed to get the job done for Minnesota this season at a nearly elite level.

12. Tampa Bay Rays (44-37)

Previous Rank: 10 (-2)

The weird team is back to being weird! The Rays’ offense has fallen into a black hole, with few legitimate contributors in the lineup. Despite this, the rise of their bullpen antics has saved them all year once again. Oh, and Shane McClanahan has a 1.74 ERA and leads the majors in strikeouts while having one of the best walk rates in the league…yeah.

13. Philadelphia Phillies (43-38)

Previous Rank: 19 (+6)

Baseball’s favourite roller coaster is currently going up! Despite the absence of Bryce Harper, they’ve found ways to win recently thanks to a number of positive contributors, most notably being Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins. But, Zack Wheeler is a name who’s been under the radar, despite nearly replicating his dazzling 2021 campaign as shown by his 2.66 ERA in 15 starts.

14. San Francisco Giants (40-39)

Previous Rank: 11 (-3)

Unlike last season, San Francisco’s pitching seems like it's holding back this ballclub. Other than Logan Webb and Carlos Rodon, there hasn’t been any support really from the back-end of the rotation. The bats, other than Joc Pederson, haven’t been electric either. If the Giants want to make it to the October Dance, they have to start stepping it up sooner than later.

15. Cleveland Guardians (40-39)

Previous Rank: 16 (+1)

While Jose Ramirez has cooled off after an insane start to the season, Cleveland is not out of the race yet. Shane Beiber and Tristan McKenzie are quickly becoming one of the premier starting pitcher duos in the league and the team sits only 3.5 games back of the top spot in the AL Central with plenty of ball left to play.

16. Chicago White Sox (38-41)

Previous Rank: 17 (+1)

Who knows what’s going on with the White Sox. They still can barely hit, and the pitching remains suspect. They’ve been meddling under .500 all season, and they need to get it together now unless they want to be left in the dust as other teams load up at the deadline. Regardless, fans in Southside Chicago should at least be happy to see their budding ace, Dylan Cease, fool basically every batter he faces (125 strikeouts in only 86 innings is pretty mesmerizing).

17. Seattle Mariners (41-42)

Previous Rank: 20 (+3)

While the Mariners have practically no shot of winning the AL West, but a hot ending to June and strong start to July gives some hope to potentially crash the Wild Card party. It all depends on if their bats can turn it around. The team ranks 25th in runs scored per game (4.0). Guys like Adam Frazier, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker will need to step it up to keep Seattle’s postseason ambitions alive.

18. Miami Marlins (39-40)

Previous Rank: 18 (-)

This team is not a playoff team yet. But they’re proving that they have some great young pieces to build around to potentially create a contender. Jazz Chisholm, Pablo Lopez and Sandy Alcantara have all been exceptional this season. Miami has also stayed competitive this season amidst their rebuild. It seems like the puzzle pieces are finally starting to fall into place.

19. Baltimore Orioles (38-44)

Previous Rank: 23 (+4)

They’re not…horrible? That’s right, the Orioles are 38-44 and are already only 14 wins away from matching their 2021 win total. We can talk about the performances of Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays, but their bullpen in particular deserves a ton of credit. Lots of quality arms in there that plenty of contending teams would kill to have, notably Jorge Lopez, who has emerged as the team’s closer with a 1.88 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. The rebuild is clearly starting to take a positive turn.

20. Texas Rangers (37-42)

Previous Rank: 12 (-8)

Marcus Semien has finally started to step it up after a putrid start to the year. Before June 1, the former MVP runner-up had just two home runs on the year. He now has 10 nukes on the year and finally raised his average (.238) above the Mendoza line. It’s about damn time.

21. Los Angeles Angels (37-45)

Previous Rank: 13 (-8)

It’s officially been almost two months since the Angels went on their epic collapse, and it’s clear that the problems that have plagued this team for years still linger. They’ve gone on a 10-28 skid since the end of May, and already look totally hopeless. Good thing Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are there, right?

22. Arizona Diamondbacks (37-44)

Previous Rank: 21 (-1)

Much respect to the Diamondbacks, who look like the Orioles of the National League. The offense is rather uninspiring, but they quietly have a very good rotation, featuring four pitchers with a sub-four ERA. Maybe the future is brighter than we imagined in the desert.

23. Colorado Rockies (35-46)

Previous Rank: 22 (-1)

That sizzling start to the season for Colorado seems like nothing more than a mirage now. There’s not much to really say about this team. C.J. Cron is fantastic, the offense is decent and the pitching is terrible. Nothing really new in Colorado.

24. Pittsburgh Pirates (33-47)

Previous Rank: 25 (+1)

How the Pirates even have more than 25 wins is mind-blowing. Nobody can hit, and every week they appear to lose a game by 15 runs. Given that, a 33-47 record isn’t so bad after all, but don’t expect it to stay this way. At least they can enjoy the resurgence of Jose Quintana, yay!

25. Chicago Cubs (33-48)

Previous Rank: 26 (+1)

This team has been bad. But, instead of talking about the negatives for this squad, let’s point out two players who have actually been good on this team. Patrick Wisdom, a lone bright spot on this offense, has 17 homers on the year. But don’t forget about pitcher David Robertson, a definite trade-deadline candidate, who’s enjoyed a great bounce back season in his age-37 season. He’s recorded a blistering 1.95 ERA and 46 strikeouts in just 32.1 innings pitched.

26. Detroit Tigers (33-47)

Previous Rank: 27 (-1)

It’s been a very disappointing season for the Tigers, who have been incredibly anemic at the dish. Riley Greene leads the team with an OPS of .750. He LEADS the team I repeat. At least Tarik Skubal looks pretty solid, I guess.

27. Cincinnati Reds (28-52)

Previous Rank: 24 (-3)

The pitching has been god awful in Cincinnati. No starter other than Luis Castillo owns an ERA lower than 4.48. The bats haven’t been amazing either, with Brandon Drury (not Joey Votto?) somehow leading the team in home runs (17) and RBIs (45).

28. Washington Nationals (29-54)

Previous Rank: 29 (+1)

Nationals fans better be thankful for Juan Soto and Josh Bell, because their pitching is unbearable and makes them pretty unwatchable. At least they can prepare themselves for a good draft spot as the second half of the season continues to wind down.

29. Kansas City Royals (29-50)

Previous Rank: 30 (+1)

At least you guys don’t own the worst run differential in the majors anymore. That’s a start. Other than that, chalk this up as another lost season in Kansas City.

30. Oakland Athletics (28-55)

Previous Rank: 28 (-2)

Uh, yeah this team is horrendous.


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